Evan Jager secured his seventh consecutive US title in the 3000m steeplechase with a peerless display on the final day of action in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday.
Jager unleashed a sub-60-second final lap to win in a stadium record of 8:20.10, well clear of Hillary Bor (8:22.58) and Andy Bayer (8:24.66).
The biggest threat to Jager came not from his rivals but from the weather, with a thunderstorm halting action in Des Moines for a couple of hours shortly before he was due to take to the line. However, Jager explained afterward that the disruption had little effect on him.
“I was ready to go at 1 [a.m], 2 [a.m.], whenever, it didn’t matter,” he said. “If they wanted to bring us back tomorrow that was fine with me. I would have run whenever.”
The mid-race pace was steady, well below Jager’s usual tempo, but then the Bowerman Track Club athlete cranked through the gears, dropping a 62-second penultimate lap before his 59.68-second closer to take a magnificent seventh straight title. He will now turn his attention to a sub-8-minute clocking in Monaco nexth month.
“If it’s super fast I’m excited to test myself and see how fast I can run, see how long I can hold on. If it’s 7:55, it’s 7:55. If it’s 8 flat, it’s 8 flat. I might as well push it,” he told Letsrun.com.
More from Jager below: